The following labor law cases have been reported:

Corporate settlements: FWC could mediate dispute over mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy

A full bench of the Fair Work Commission (FWC) ruled that the FWC had jurisdiction under a company agreement to arbitrate a dispute over a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy.

Mitchell v University of Tasmania (2022) 74 AILR ¶103-615; [2022] FWCFB 165, August 31, 2022.

Casual childcare worker fired when shifts canceled

A casual childminder was fired when her shifts were canceled and her access to an internal sign-up app was removed without notification after she criticized her employer through the app.

Royall v Aussie Kids Pty Ltd (2022) 74 AILR ¶103-616; [2022] CC 2301, August 31, 2022.

Company settlements: removal of anti-fatigue mats in Big W store was unreasonable

Woolworths’ removal of anti-fatigue mats for staff at its Big W Noosa store without consultation and without a proper safety analysis being undertaken was unfair and unreasonable.

Hart & Rafiqi v Woolworths Group Ltd as Woolworths (2022) 74 AILR ¶103-617; [2022] CC 1622, September 1, 2022.

Anti-harassment: seller marginalized in his role and not accompanied when returning to work

A saleswoman returning to work after a previous bullying complaint was bullied at work when she was sidelined in her role, was not supported on the first day of her return and saw some of her e -emails and personal files deleted or transferred to its manager.

Ripinskis (2022) 74 AILR ¶103-618; [2022] CC 2054, September 1, 2022.

Company agreements: bus drivers do not accept fares without the right to compensation

Bus drivers who failed to collect a fee from passengers in industrial action were not entitled to compensation payable under the company agreement specifically to bus drivers carrying fare-paying passengers.

Australian Transport Workers Union v Transit (NSW) Services Pty Ltd (2022) 74 AILR ¶103-619; [2022] CC 2334, September 2, 2022.

The full court upheld the rejection of the bank manager’s request for general protection

A Full Court of the Federal Court upheld the dismissal of a bank manager’s blanket protection claim despite finding that the senior judge erred in finding that the employee’s immediate supervisor had no involvement in the adverse action in a way that required his state of mind to be questioned.

Wong v National Australia Bank Ltd (2022) 74 AILR ¶103-620; [2022] FCAFC 155, September 8, 2022.

The NRL referee on a maximum contract has not been dismissed

A full FWC bench upheld an earlier decision which found that a National Rugby League referee on a series of maximum-term contracts had not been dismissed and therefore could not pursue his claim for dismissal under the general protections.

Alouani-Roby v National Rugby League Ltd & Ors (2022) 74 AILR ¶103-621; [2022] FWCFB 171, September 7, 2022.

$50,000 awarded to worker fired for filing complaint

An employee who was fired for exercising her workplace right to complain about her employment has been awarded more than $50,000 in compensation by the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia.

Kantor v WISR Finance Pty Ltd (2022) 74 AILR ¶103-622; [2022] FedCFamC2G 672, September 12, 2022.

The casual employee had a reasonable expectation of continued employment despite the terms of the contract

A casual warehouse worker had a reasonable expectation of continuous employment on a regular and systematic basis for the purposes of determining whether he had worked the minimum period of employment, despite a clear statement in his employment contract that he did not There was no commitment to provide him with regular employment and continued employment.

Kumnick v FedEx Express Australia Pty Ltd (2022) 74 AILR ¶103-623; [2022] CC 2432, September 13, 2022.

Reasonable for the employer to refuse an occasional conversion request

An employer had grounds for refusing to offer occasional retraining to an employee who, in the previous 6 months, had only satisfied the full-time employment model 50% of the time.

COVID-19 concerns for woman undergoing IVF and not in exceptional circumstances for discharge

Fear of contracting COVID-19 for a couple undergoing IVF treatment was not an exceptional circumstance justifying taking ongoing personal/caregiver leave under the relevant company agreement.

CH vs. Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (2022) 74 AILR ¶103-625; [2022] CC 2051, September 16, 2022.

Offenses for refusing entry to a union official unless he left his mobile phone offsite

An employer unlawfully refused entry to a permit holder when it demanded that he leave his mobile phone offsite before entering.

Australasian Meat Industry Employees Union v Teys Australia Beenleigh Pty Ltd (2022) 74 AILR ¶103-626; [2022] FedCFamC2G 782, September 19, 2022.

The summary dismissal for not wearing a face mask was severe

The summary dismissal of a real estate worker who failed to wear a face mask during routine property inspections was severe and she was awarded compensation amounting to 3 weeks salary.

Te Wano v Just Property Management Pty Ltd (2022) 74 AILR ¶103-627; [2022] CC 2493, September 19, 2022.

Non-enforceable 2-year post-mandate constraint

NSW Supreme Court refused to enforce business restrictions in chief executive’s employment contract

Label Manufacturers Australia Pty Ltd v Chatzopoulos (2022) 74 AILR ¶200-607; [2022] NSWSC 1059, September 6, 2022.

No right to proportional long-term leave allowance after refusing COVID-19 vaccination

A Queensland Government employee was not entitled to the prorated payment for his long-term leave because he was terminated due to his conduct in refusing to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Borough v State of Queensland (Department of Environment and Science) (2022) 74 AILR ¶300-224; [2022] QIRC 357, September 13, 2022.

Service abroad counted in the calculation of seniority leave

An employee’s service with related companies in Canada and the United Kingdom was part of his continuous service for the purpose of calculating his entitlement to furlough leave in Queensland.

Mears v Vector Aerospace Australia Pty Ltd (2022) 74 AILR ¶300-223; [2022] QIRC 348, September 8, 2022.